Karen Toles speeding incident: Councilmember apologizes, regrets incident

(Courtesy: Prince George's County Council)

Less than a week after Prince George's County Councilwoman Karen Toles was caught allegedly driving over 100 mph on the Capital Beltway, she took her explanation and apology to the public.

Appearing Wednesday at a public safety forum with law enforcement at Iverson Mall in Temple Hills, Toles said once again that she regretted the incident.

"I was leaving a meeting (and) going to another meeting," she said. "That doesn't excuse the situation and I intend to pay the fine for the moving violation."

On Wednesday, sources say that on Feb. 22, Toles was spotted by officers driving more than 100 mph on the Beltway, which has a posted speed limit of 55 mph, and swerving in and out of lanes.

Toles reportedly didn't pull over immediately, and instead made her way off the freeway with police cruisers on her tail. When she stopped, some officers reportedly approached Toles' SUV with their guns drawn.

Eventually, she got away with only a $90 ticket for an unsafe lane change and a warning about her speed.

Her explanation for the incident, though, didn't sit well with a group of seniors at the forum, one of whom called it a "typical politician's move."

"They don't want to face facts," Prince George's County resident Howard Washington said. "That's absurd. Councilwoman or no councilwoman, she broke the law."

The officer in charge that day, Maj. James Harper, argues that a speeding ticket wouldn't have held up in court.

"We have to actually attest that the person was either captured on a radar device or was paced," Harper said. "The officer was trying to catch up the whole time, so he or she could not actually write a citation."